Today’s text covers a variety of vital topics. And one of those topics is the importance of living in obedience to God’s Word rather than just being a student of theology. Yes, it is very important to know the correct doctrines of the Bible. But the reason we need to know and understand the teachings of scripture is so that we might properly put into practice the teachings of scripture. The scriptures help us to know God so that we might know how to love and worship God. The scriptures tell us what pleases or displeases God so that we might live in a way that pleases God. We were born again and brought near to God in order that we might bring glory to God. And the only way we can bring glory to God is by our both knowing and obeying the word of God.
Now with this understanding, carefully read and seek to obey today’s text.
My dear brothers and sisters, don’t be fooled. Every good present and every perfect gift comes from above, from the Father who made the sun, moon, and stars. The Father doesn’t change like the shifting shadows produced by the sun and the moon. God decided to give us life through the word of truth to make us his most important creatures. Remember this, my dear brothers and sisters: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and should not get angry easily. An angry person doesn’t do what God approves of. So get rid of all immoral behavior and all the wicked things you do. Humbly accept the word that God has placed in you. This word can save you. Do what God’s word says. Don’t merely listen to it, or you will fool yourselves. If someone listens to God’s word but doesn’t do what it says, he is like a person who looks at his face in a mirror, studies his features, goes away, and immediately forgets what he looks like. However, the person who continues to study God’s perfect laws that make people free and who remains committed to them will be blessed. People like that don’t merely listen and forget; they actually do what God’s laws say. If a person thinks that he is religious but can’t control his tongue, he is fooling himself. That person’s religion is worthless. Pure, unstained religion, according to God our Father, is to take care of orphans and widows when they suffer and to remain uncorrupted by this world.
James 1:16-27 (God’s Word Translation)